Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1638-1842. Originally published by Edinburgh Printing & Publishing Co, Edinburgh, 1843.
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The principal acts of the general assembly, holden and begun at Edinburgh, May 9, 1745.
I. Sess. 1, May 9, 1745.—The King's Commission to Alexander Earl of Leven produced, and ordered to be recorded
II. Sess. 1, May 9, 1745.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner
piety, and the remarkable loyalty and affection you have ever expressed for our person and government in your former Assemblies, fully persuade us at this time, you will be directed by the same laudable spirit; and, therefore, we most willingly countenance your present meeting by our approbation and royal authority. And we take this opportunity to renew to you the assurances of our firm resolution to support and maintain all the rights and privileges of the Church of Scotland, as by law established.
As we make no doubt but you now come together with the like good dispositions and intentions, so you may depend upon our protection and assistance in all your endeavours to promote the true interest of religion, to prevent the growth of Popery, and to discourage and suppress profaneness and immorality; and as you must be sensible of the great importance of a good agreement and unanimity among yourselves in all your proceedings, so we hope your debates will be conducted with all moderation, brotherly love, and charity.
We have again made choice of our right trusty and entirely beloved cousin, Alexander Earl of Leven, to represent our royal person in this Assembly. His known zeal for our service, and his firm adherence to the principles of the Church of Scotland, and concern for its prosperity, will always render him acceptable to you. And as we have the greatest confidence in his capacity, diligence, and application in the discharge of so important a trust, we are persuaded that you, on your part, will contribute every thing in your power towards the unanimous and speedy dispatch of the bussiness proper for your consideration, and the attaining the good and desirable ends for which you are now convened. And so we bid you heartily farewell.
III. Sess. 3, May 11, 1745.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter
May it please your Majesty,
The very gracious letter with which your Majesty has been pleased to honour us was received with all the duty and thankfulness becoming loyal subjects, sensible of the great happiness they enjoy under your beign and auspicious government.
That your Majesty is pleased so willingly to countenance our meeting in this Assembly, by your royal approbation and authority, cannot but effect us with the more warm and lively sense of gratitude, that it is supported by such honourable sentiments of the zeal shown for the glory of God, and the advancement of true religion; and the loyalty and affection expressed for your Majesty's person and government in our former Assemblies, and such a full persuasion that we will be directed by the same landable spirit in this Assembly. So obliging a confidence in us must render us utterly inexcusable, if, by any neglect of our duty, we should disappoint it, and should forfeit the applauses our Sovereign discovers such forwardness to bestow on us.
Your Majesty's renewed assurances of your firm resolution to support and maintain all the rights and privileges of the Church of Scotland, as by law established, oblige us, in the strongest manner, to renew our humble and dutiful expressions of the most inviolable affection and loyalty to your Majesty's person and government, of our entire reliance on your royal assurances, and of our firm confidence in your protection and favour.
Your Majesty's goodness, in entertaining such a firm persuasion of the good dispositions and intentions with which we are now come together, and so strongly encouraging our dependence upon your royal protection and assistance, in our endeavours to do what is our unquestionable duty, lays us under additional obligations to use our best endeavours for promoting the true interest of religion, for preventing the growth of Popery, and for discouraging and suppressing profaneness and immorality. And the sense we must have of the great importance of a good agreement and unanimity among ourselves in all our proceedings, and that our debates be conducted with all moderation, brotherly love, and charity, highly recommend to us such a complaince with your Majesty's kind and gracious injunctions, as may answer your favourable hopes.
The continance of your royal bounty, for promoting the knowledge of true religion in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, we most thankfully receive, as a fresh instance of your paternal regard, and of your generous designs for the greatest good of your subjects, which obliges us to the strictest care in managing this your royal donation in such manner as may best answer the purpose of so tender a nursing-father.
Your Majesty's repeated choice of the Earl of Leven to represent your royal person in this Assembly, could not fail to be most agreeable to us, and to be regarded by us as a further proof of your royal favour. His known zeal for your Majesty's service, and his firm adherence to the principles of the Church of Scotland, and concern for its prosperity, must always render him acceptable to us. And it is with the greatest satisfaction we observe the just confidence your Majesty has in his capacity, diligence, and application, in the discharge of so important a trust. We should be highly culpable if we were wanting on our part to contribute every thing in our power towards the unanimours and speedy dispatch of the business proper for our consideration, and the attaining the good and desirable ends for which we are now convened.
That God may long preserve your Majesty for the good of all your people, and the
maintaining the true Protestant interest, the liberties of mankind, and the balance of
Europe;—that your sacred person and valuable life may always, and everywhere, be
under the protection of his good and watchful Providence;—that he may abundantly
bless the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke, the Princesses, and all the branches
of your royal family;—and that there may never be wanting one of your most illustriour house to sway the sceptre of these realms while sun and moon endure;—that he may
prosper your arms, and those of your allies, against the common disturbers of the
peace of Europe;—and that, after a long and prosperous reign over a free and happy
people, you may at last inherit a crown of glory that fadeth not away, are, and shall
be, the hearty and unfeigned prayers of,
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most loyal subjects, the Ministers and Elders met in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
IV. Sess. 8, May 17, 1745.—Act concerning the Fund for a Provision to the Widows and Children of the Ministers of this Church
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, having had laid before them a representation of the trustees, nominated and appointed by the late Act of Parliament, for managing the Fund for a Provision to the Widows and Children of the Ministers of the Church of Scotland, and of the Heads, Principals, and Masters of the Universities of St Andrews, Glasgow, and Edinburgh, setting forth, that by the delay of several Presbyteries in transmitting timeously the lists of particulars necessary to be known by the trustees, it was with the utmost difficulty that they could make the charge on the collector in due time, which delay was occasioned, in a great measure, through Presby the trustees, it was with utmost difficulty that they could make the charge on the collector in due time, which delay was occasined, in a great measure, through Pres byteries not keeping a separate register, according to the fourth Act of the late General Assembly, appointing every Presbytery to keep a separtate register, and therein to record the names and parish churches of the several ministers, members of their respective Presbyteries, with the particular daters of their admissions and marriages; and also the dated of the birth or death of their children, and of several other facts; as the said act more fully bears. And the Assembly, considering the great inconve niences that may arise, through Presbyteries not duly keeping, and regulartly filling up, the several particulars in their said separate register in an uniform manner, out of which the facts may, from time to time, be taken, and in the most authentic manner attested and transmitted to the said trustees, did, therefore, and hereby do, renew the foresaid 4th Act of last General Assembly, and strictly enjoin the observation thereof; and to the end the same may be more regularly and uniformly observed, do appoint the several Presbyteriers to keep the said separate register according to the plan this day agreed upon by the Assembly, and recorded in their register. And each minister is hereby required duly to report to the Presbytery, either by himself or by letter, any alteration which shall happen from time to time in his family, at the first diet of Presbytery immediately subsequent to such alteration; or in case of an unavoidable necessity preventing his then notifying such alteration, he shall intimate the same as soon as possible. And the Assembly do appoint the several Synods to call for the said separate registers at least once a year, and carefully inspect the same, and atleast that they are kept according to the plan referred to in this Act; which attestation shall also be marked in the Synod's records. And for the Better securing, and more regular transmission of the foresaid annual lists to the trustces, the General Assembly do enact and ordain, that every Presbytery shall meet annually on such day, betwixt the 11th of November and the 11th of December, as they shall respectively judge most convenient, (the Presbyteries in the Western and Northern Isles excepted;) and shall, at such meeting, prepare and transmit to the trustee's clerk, may be the better en respective lists for the preceding year, to the end the trustees may be the better enabled with accuracy to carry on the scheme. And the General Assembly do recommend to and enjoin the several Presbyteries to be careful in uplifting and transmitting to the collector-general of the fund the rates due out of vacant parishes, and out of the annats in their several bounds. And the Assembly further appoints the several Presbyteries, so soon as this Act shall come to their hands, to insert the same, and also the 4th Act of Assembly, 1744, in their separate register; and to acquaint such of their members as are absent of the contents of this Act.
V. Sess. 8. May 17, 1745.—Act prohibiting Synods to disjoin or annex Parishes from one Presbytery to another.
The General Assembly, considering the inconveniences that may arise, by Synods passing acts for annexation or disjunction of parishes from one Presbytery to another, did, and hereby do, prohibit Synods to disjoin any parish from a Presbytery, and annex the same to another, without first having the authority of the General Assembly; and that what shall be done in virtue of such authority be reported to the Assembly next following, and have their approbation to any such annexation or disjunction.
VI. Sess. 9, May 18, 1745.—Act and Overture about some pieces of Sacred Poesy.
The General Assembly had laid before them, by their committee, some pieces of sacred poesy, under the title of Translations and Paraphases of several Passages of Sacred Scripture, composed by private persons; and though the Assembly have not sufficient time to consider these poems maturely, so as to approve or disapprove of them, Yet they judge the same may be printed; and do remit the consideration of them to the several Presbyteries, in order to their transmitting their observations to the next General Assembly, that they, or any subsequent Assembly, may give such orders about the whole affair as they shall judge for edification; and the Assembly appoint this their resolution to be prefixed to the impression.
VII. Sess. ult., May 20, 1745.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for Reformation of the Highlands and Islands, and for Managing his Majesty's Royal Bounty for that end
VIII. Sess. ult., May 20, 1745.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.
IX. Sess. ult., May 20, 1745.—Act concerning the Character and Behaviour of Ministers and Probationers. (fn. 1)
The General Assembly, considering how much it is for the honour of God and edification of the Church, that all ministers and preachers of the Gospel be persons of good life and character, do carnestly recommend to and enjoin all Presbyteries to take care that all ministers behave themselves as becomes their character; and to be strict in adverting that young men whom they license to preach the Gospel, be persons of good report, and carefully observe their behaviour after they are licensed; they do also appoint that the rules of the Form of Process, Chap. vii., with respect to informations against ministers of this Church, be extended to probationers.